Damien Chombart, manager of the Lamothe de Haux Châteaux, devotes a large part of his time to marketing his wines for export. He knows that his customers are very attentive to the respect of the environment in the management of the vines. The Lamothe de Haux castle is close to the Bordeaux metropolis. The inhabitants of the surrounding villages enjoy living in the vineyards and do not want nuisances. All actions implemented on the farm are in line with respect for the environment and the protection of employees. For example, the entire vineyard has been grassed between the rows of vines since the 1980s. This limits erosion and improves wine quality; however, the grass and weeds can compete with the vines for nutrients. To limit this the grass is frequently mowed and the bottom area of the vines is weeded. A special relationship has been established with the neighboring beekeepers to inform each other on upcoming vineyard and bee activities allowing the bees to safely collect nectar and pollen.
Damien Chombart strives to demonstrate that viable viticulture and winemaking can advance side by side with respect for the environment and people.
Location: Haux, near Bordeaux, France
History: Château Lamothe’s foundations date back to the 16th century. Since 1956, 4 generations of our family have managed Château Lamothe: the Perriquets, then the Néels, and now the Chombarts.
Crops: Wine Grapes
Soil: Limestone-clay on slopes in the heart of the Bordeaux wine region.
Partners: Berthoud, French Vine, and Wine Institute, Vitinnov, beekeeper
Situated in the fertile Rhône Valley just outside of Lyon, EARL des Bruyères has been a family farm for many generations. Located on 425 hectares of land, much of which is dedicated to corn production, the farmers use integrated crop management to maximize yield and quality while minimizing environmental impact.
Digital tools like section control and GPS help improve the effectiveness of seeding, fertilizer use, and spraying on the farm. In addition to driving efficiencies with resource use the farm also puts strong efforts into environmental care such as setting up flowering strips and bee hotels that nurture and protect valuable pollinators throughout the seasons.
Location: Saint-Priest (69), near Lyon, France
History: A family farm for several generations, EARL des Bruyères was expanded in 2009.
Crops: Corn, barley, wheat, rapeseed, sunflowers, and pasture
Soil: Clay loam, containing 30% stone
Partners: Local Hunters Federation, beekeepers, Entreprise Berthoud, Université d‘Orléans Laboratory of Entomology
High-quality wheat for baking and seed production is the main crop at Ferme de Bulas. Located in the important cereal region of Beauce, the farm has been managed by the Petillon family for three generations. To ensure a successful harvest the farm uses high-quality seeds with traits and seed treatments best suited to their specific soil, water and climatic conditions and minimize pest and disease damage. A strong focus is put on integrated weed management focusing on a well-balanced combination of crop rotation, cultural methods, and diversity in chemistry. This enables plants to develop their full potential and in turn, it helps to optimize the use of natural resources like soil and water. Digital tools help analyze crop growth on the farm using satellite or drone images. This helps the Petillon family make better decisions for their crops as well as optimize the use of their resources. Further, low-drift nozzles target applications more efficiently towards the crop and avoid drift to field borders or water bodies. Overall Ferme de Bulas works hand in hand with nature. While cultivation must preserve biodiversity, they also benefit from the health of the surrounding ecosystems. Shelters and flowering plants provide food and accommodation for pollinators and beneficial species.
Location: Houville la Branche (28), near Chartres, France
History: Ferme de Bulas has been family-run for three generations. This legacy continues as Jérôme, the son of Pascale and Dominique, joined the farm in 2016
Crops: Cereals, oilseed rape, sugarbeets, pea protein, potatoes
Soil: Mostly silty clay
Partners: Fédération des chasseurs d’Eure-et-Loir (Eure-et-Loir hunters’ federation), beekeepers, Hommes et Territoires (sustainability in agriculture association), Laboratoire d’Eco-Entomologie d’Orléans (Orleans Eco-Entomology Laboratory), Axereal (grain cooperative)